1 Thessalonians 5:5
You are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
The text is for the Lord's people; and as they have great privileges to enjoy, so they have great duties to perform, and that, too, distinct from others.
I. TWO CLASSES ARE SPOKEN OF IN CONTRAST.
1. The children of the night and of darkness. Of ignorance, unbelief, and wrath. They are in the regions of moral rebellion and imminent danger.
2. The children of day and of light. Illumed by the Word and the Spirit of God. Transformed; brought out of spiritual Egypt, and translated into the Divine kingdom. They are now of God's family — sons and heirs. Hence they have heavenly light within them — knowledge, love, and holiness. Their path is light itself, and it leads to "the inheritance of the saints in light." So that while they are on earth, they are "the lights of the world."
II. THE COURSE OF THE CHILDREN OF THE DAY. "Therefore, let us not sleep as do others."
1. That which they are to avoid. Moral sleep, soul lethargy, conscience slumbering, spiritual drowsiness. This is a state of helplessness, vague and illusory dreams, wasted opportunities, real perils.
2. That which they are to attend to. Watchfulness against the snares of the world, the stratagems of Satan, and the deceitfulness of the heart. As the sentinel at his post; as the mariner on stormy ocean looking for day; as the wise virgins waiting with their lamps burning, so all Christians are exhorted to do.
3. That which they are to be, "sober." Physical sobriety — avoiding revelling, banquetting, intemperance, and all tendencies to them, avoiding the very appearance of evil. Mental sobriety — walking in humility and self-abasement, not intoxicated with vanity, nor the praises of men. Social sobriety — avoiding foolish excitements and a vapid and silly conversation. Moral sobriety — seeking even lawful things with moderation, such as the increase of riches and innocent pleasures. Such sobriety includes a well-balanced mind, a serious spirit, and a becoming walk before God and men, and is real, entire, and constant.
III. THE MOTIVES BY WHICH THIS COURSE IS URGED.
1. The enemies and perils which surround us. An evil world; a malignant devil; a weak nature, liable to err, and leaning to sin.
2. The sad results which may ensue. Spiritual declension; open apostacy; personal degradation; unutterable misery. Application: The text to be prayerfully considered and solemnly pondered —
(1) In the light of our Christian profession;
(2) In connection with our peace and happiness;
(3) With our usefulness and honour;
(4) With our final acceptance and salvation.
(J. Burns, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.